At this year's annual London Games Festival, some of the topics discussed included the possibility of seeing Apple
roll out a dedicated gaming console. The question “When are digital download sales going to overtake sales of 'traditional' boxed games on discs?” was also asked at the event.
A TechRadar report cites renowned industry analyst Nick Parker as saying that, according to his research, the tipping point of download sales overtaking “boxed” sales, also known as 'the iTunes moment,' would occur in 2014. It will be around then that the game industry “might have some parity between digital distribution and retail,” according to Parker.
Having stressed on this aspect just about enough, the researcher moved on to predict the 'next gen' of gaming hardware. While he refused to provide specifics, according to the aforementioned website, he did speculate that it would not be too surprising to see Apple launch a dedicated gaming console based around Intel's Larabee chip. In fact, the analyst believed that a company like Apple could well take the gaming industry by storm, according to TechRadar. He expects “one big new entrant to shake up the eco-system.”
Apple fans may recall that their favorite electronics company and computer vendor once developed and shipped a gaming system known as the Pippin
. Produced by Bandai in 1995, it was based around a 66-MHz PowerPC 603 processor, a 14.4 kbit/s modem and ran a stripped version of the System 7.5.2 operating system. Apple’s goal was to create an inexpensive computer aimed mostly at playing CD-based multimedia titles, especially games. The system was also designed to function as a network computer, featuring a 4× CD-ROM drive and a video output that could connect to a standard television monitor.
The Apple Bandai Pippin was released in a market dominated by the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and, not long after, the Nintendo 64. Bandai manufactured fewer than 100,000 Pippins (reported sales were 42,000) before discontinuing the system.